At this time of the year one of the most beautiful places to be in Britain is the Welsh Marches, the in between land that is the border between Wales and England. The landscape is gently undulating, black and white timbered houses nestle in tiny hamlets or singly, often surrounded by pockets of woodland which, at this time of year, are just beginning to give hints of warmer colour.
I love this bit of the world. I love ogling the houses (thatch! Mullions! Half-timbering!), whilst at the same time recoiling slightly at the thought of the size of the spiders that probably inhabit such houses. I love the history of the area. And I love the books of Phil Rickman which are often set in amongst the weirdness of an area which is neither here nor there, Welsh nor English.
Our visit today was to the ruin of a Victorian masterpiece of overblown architecture, Witley Court. The house itself is impressive for the sheer scale and ambition of the building
Witley Court as well as the triumph of wealth over taste
The woodland that surrounds the house however is quite the opposite. Peaceful, harmonious, tasteful.
Adventure play areas for the kids
climbing frame and a baroque chapel for the grown-ups to admire
As well as a very good tea room :-). Quite the perfect day out.